The dominant literary influence is the novel of the same title by Percy Bysshe Shelley. In both, Zastrozzi avenges his mother's death. One theatrical influence is the use of archetypes in drama. There is the quintessential virgin, Julia; the great martial arts master, Zastrozzi; the religious figure, Victor; and the artiste and criminal, Verezzi. Zastrozzi stalks Verezzi with great mastery of discipline, while Victor defends Verezzi; Julia complicates situations while Matilda continues as the "most accomplished seductress in Europe."